Many of you must have come across the term sustainable fashion. But what does it mean? Sustainable fashion is an environmentally friendly way of clothing that is manufactured, designed, distributed, and used. A related term called ethical fashion refers to clothes that value worker rights and social welfare. This term is swinging in the world of mindful consumers. As environmentalism synchronizes with equity in society, ethical fashion and sustainable fashion are tangled together.
Sustainable fashion is more than just fashion products or textiles, it is about the whole system of fashion. The main agenda of the people who follow the sustainable fashion movement is to increase the value of local products and their production, stretching the lifecycle of materials, etc. The goal that tops it all is to reduce the amount of wastage and reduce the harm to the environment that is created due to the production and consumption of fast fashion.
The problems with regular fashion.
Regular fashion is now termed fast fashion. It is a highly profitable business model based on high fashion designs and mass producing them at low cost. People all over the world require clothes to wear and who does not love to wear designer clothes and be up-to-date in society. This is the reason why the demand for such stylish and trendy clothes increases. So to meet the ever-increasing demand garment production uses materials of low quality and trend replication to bring inexpensive styles to people. As the prices fall the quality also decreases but it does not stop people from buying more clothes to keep up with the trends.
As the trends change fast and clothes fall out of fashion people dispose of them faster. The main problem starts here, the clothes that are disposed of are not recycled or donated, but instead, they are incinerated or accumulated in the landfills. Where it takes about 200 years to decompose polluting the planet with unnatural material. Everything about fast fashion costs us our health and environment. Some of the hazardous effects are as follows:
The untreated toxic wastewater from the textile factories of the fast-fashion producing countries contains mercury, lead, and arsenic. These are harmful to aquatic and human life. These waters pollute the rivers and then the seas as well. The consumption of freshwater is monstrous too. Even the finished product is harmful because of the microfibres. Every time you wash your clothes, the microfibres come away from the fibers like nylon and polyester. Around 700,00 microfibres are shed with each wash. we consume the aquatic animals which eat these microfibers. Hence, these cheap clothes are a reason for plastic in our food chain.
Emissions of carbon dioxide
The fashion industry ranks 4th in causing pollution especially carbon emission. Not only the factories but the transportation from factories to retail and then to the consumers and sometimes back also emits carbon.
The industry force laborers for overtime. They work for 10-15 hours a day. From trade wages to denial of trade union rights, there is a significant risk to their healths as well. The workers work in inhuman conditions with no clean drinking water or heat and lack of ventilation. Limited access to the bathroom and the use of dangerous chemicals is topped with violence and abuse for those who ask to form a union or want better working conditions. These garment industries run in secrecy hence there is a lack of transparency which fuels the exploitation of workers.
The answer is sustainable fashion.
Sustainable clothes are made made of organic fabrics, these decompose easily hence, no piles of dangerous fabrics are left in the landfills. The dyes used to color the fabrics are natural and do not leave traces of chemicals in the clothing. Proving it to be great for the skin as well as for the environment. Introducing yourself to the life of sustainable fashion can eliminate the episodes of dilemma looking at the overflowing wardrobes. Resulting in beneficial steps for the mind as well as the environment around. Another good thing about sustainable fashion is that it stays with us for a long period and even after you are done wearing it you can reuse the items for other purposes. It has the biodegradability quotient which makes it a better choice above all. Sustainable fashion is the best alternative to the leech called fast fashion. It is a fulfilling lifestyle choice.
Myths and facts
There are some misconceptions in this aspect of unexplored fashion. Some myths revolve around the concept of sustainable fashion or ethical fashion which creates a barrier towards the eco-friendly path. Here are some of the debunked myths.
Myth: Ethical fashion is costly.
This is not entirely true. Yes, buying from sustainable brands can be expensive. But getting into sustainable fashion does not always mean buying new clothes from sustainable brands. Many times buying sustainable clothes from a thrift store can also cost. Buying second-hand clothes from apps like e-bay is also an option if one is to follow sustainable fashion. You can be sustainable and cost-effective.
Myth: Buying from sustainable brands means following ethical fashion.
It entirely depends upon your habits as a consumer. Even if you buy from a sustainable fashion brand and do not use it regularly, then you are overconsuming it. It nullifies shopping for an environmental cause. Hence, even if you buy from sustainable brand sustainability is a mindset. Also, It entirely depends upon how you use it more than the production of the piece.
Myth: Getting a sustainable wardrobe means goodbye to fast fashion.
This a total myth. Sustainability is all about the mindset and not about what brand is hanging in your closet. Hence, if you have a wardrobe full of fast fashion clothes you need not get rid of it at all. As long as you are planning on using them to the fullest and then recycling them or disposing of them responsibly you are following sustainable fashion. Your habits define the total sustainability of your clothes.
Switching to sustainable or ethical fashion is making an au courant decision that will make a difference to the people and the planet. Sustainable brands focus on quality more than quantity hence the materials and the finished products are made by keeping the environment into consideration. As sustainable brands produce quality, you can reduce the waste which results in no overconsumption. Following trends for years have made you forget what your unique style is.
These sustainable brands focus on timeless pieces of high quality which enables you to switch to the fashion that can save money as well as reflect your personality. As fast fashion is hazardous to the environment if you switch to sustainable fashion you are contributing towards saving this planet. Switching to sustainable fashion does not harm workers. Hence, sustainable fashion and ethical fashion are always good ideas.